Monthly Archives: March 2010

studying mahabharatha, ebrahim alkazi

I’ve read the Odessey and the Illiad a few times, soaked in them (not in the original Greek though, sadly), I respect them – but nothing that I have ever read so far, comes even reasonably close to that epic mahabharatha.

It is not because, I am from India or anything that I think so about mahabharata. I would consider the likes of  Kurosawa Akira, Johannes Sebastian Bach, Dawn Upshaw, Parveen Sultana, Kiri Te Kanawa, M S Subbulakshmi (this listing is delightfully endless..) – not to mention ‘The Brothers Karamazov,’  ‘Remembrance of things past’  etc etc – all part of my tradition & hoary past too! In my view, all great and grand things &  people of the world are part of our common tradition. Ahem!

So, one can ask why? What is so significant about mahabharata??

Oh, where do I even begin… I feel that mahabharatha has fine character studies with a significant lack of claustrophobic & premature judgementality; a continued grand celebration of grey areas and the joy (and sometimes sorrow) called life. The attitude that no one is a pure saint, and therefore of course,  no one a pure sinner – each having his / her own foibles and strong points. Rejuvenation and hope; Non-immutable basic ethics and contextual applicability of morals. Time & situation variant dharma… The danse macabre called war. Lessons in strategy and tactics.  Beautiful weaving in of contradictions with stretched limits of grand possibilities. Very tight script. Ingenious storytelling devices.  Carefully woven matrix of characters and scenes, from across times & contexts. Wonderful philosophical diversions – even if one excludes the Gita part from the epic. Deep social, anthropological expositions. Timeless applicability of storylines. The incredible fables & allegories. Adaptability to beautiful stage productions.  Political and administrative craft. No hollow praising of moral high grounds. Oh the variety, the diversity

I also feel that, to reduce mahabharata to a mere soulless item of mindless worship, would be a ghastly waste!

Whather all the events in the mahabharata  really happened or not is not at all relevant.  I think, it is a pure and distilled joy savouring the epic, period.

So, with my kind of, to put it politely and mildly, a  laissez-faire approach to learning (or for that matter, the Rg Vedic hymn approach – aa no badrah, kritavo yantu vishwatah – ‘let noble thoughts come to us from across the world (from all directions)’ – if you will & if you would pardon my self-delusion), that has been very kindly allowed (actually it is more like an indulgence) by nammashaale – I have just started the adi parva – the first part of the symphony called mahabharatha, with our erdkinder and hope to finish ‘the first pass’ with them, in the next term. Wish me good luck and blissful times ahead!

A couple of decades back, I had the pleasure of viewing Stephen Spender‘s inspired theatrical rendition of greek classics – especially ‘Antigone‘ of Sophocles  I wish we could do something like that with mahabharata. Forget about Peter Brook and his mahabharata, sorry;  sadly, Peter’s  rendition was not at all as thoughtful as perhaps, the rest of his oeuvre. To be precise, his idea was puerile, insipid, uninspiring and gaudily executed – hollow… Really sad.

Incidentally, I am sure many of the readers of this weblog would be familiar with our Ebrahim Alkazi. If not, please go read up about him.

There is a very readable and reflective interview with that doyen of Indian Theatre – Ebrahim Alkazi – published by Indian Express.

When I wanted to study the Mahabharata, my tutor said it’s obscene. I said I wanted to study the entire epic’

More on our learning and joint-reading of mahabharata later…

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PS: NammaShaale has a vibrant theatre programme too, thanks to young Manjunath – a theatre (and seed saving) enthusiast. May be we can do something theartical about mahabharata?

erdkinder do zodiac predictions… (hic)

Move over, you ‘world famous astrologers’ such as Besan Daroowallah, go start making besan laddoos, or even start brewing liquor… But, stop making those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad horrorscopes please! Try to earn a honest day’s wages, surely it is not that very difficult…

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I pretend to ‘do’ mainly science with our ‘earth children’ – but I also drift off in various directions, to do history, geography, angrezi (hic), math and stuff. Heck, I even pretend to be a choir conductor. Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few other adults (who actually are more able & capable than yours truly) in the picture too, so there is no need to ring the alarm bells… The truth is that, they are all busy working, whereas I am busy posting blog entries!

In any case, all the ‘adults’ do all the very many things at nammashaale, where the damned (and much maligned) teacher-student ratio is not very good as per the grand understanding of the hoi polloi. However, this fact is actually very good – so, if you are surprised, you may want to read ‘student-teacher ratio’ and the rest of the ‘education faq’ series.

Now, I would admit it upfront that I hate the ‘zodiacal prediction’ columns that appear in irreparably trashy newspapers and magazines such as the ‘Times of India’ and ‘Outlook’ – from the bottom of my heart (and I love & respect the fact that ‘The Hindu’ does NOT publish these kinds of trash and is quite sensitive & sensible, but then, ‘The Hindu’ has other trappings).

It is not out of place to mention here that, every once in a while, we do things that are ‘show-off’ worthy at the erdkinder environment, so that our earth children get the feeling that they can participate in the adult world – and do a damn good job of it (among other pedagogical goals & aims, that is).

So, on a lark, we decided that we would ‘master’ the ‘art’ (actually it is more of a programming science than art) of these astrological predictions business and then deliver our pearls of infinite wisdom, on the unwary elementary children and the rest of the adults (actually adults = ‘teachers’ in Montessoriese).

This is the algorithm that we used:

  • Looking at the general stereotypes associated with zodiacal signs & individuals born in a given ‘sign’ (example: ‘scorpions sting’) and enumerating various attributes of the stereotypes.
  • Going through the rather nauseating ‘prediction’ columns from trash newspapers such as Times of India, DNA, Bangalore Mirror – for the previous one month and analyzing them for various catch phrases.
  • Analyzing them for ‘content holders’ or ‘basic types’ for any given sign, such as romance, finance, health, travel, career etc etc.
  • Each ‘astrologer’ has his or her own style – so analyzing them each for some common denominators and stylizations of expressions – such as ‘surprises await you’ and ‘travel is on the cards’ (ha ha!)
  • Noting various modes of expressions such as random contrapositives, ‘this will happen, but if you do that that will not happen’ kinds of delightful nonsense, across astrologers of various hues and skin pigmentations.
  • Deriving a set of predictions – based on the all the above. (of course after all that, correcting the speeling mushtakes in the writes-up, hic)

The result of these efforts were 4 sets of ‘predictions for the week’ – with very impressive artwork and layout designs– all very tongue in cheek and hilarious – if one had gotten wind of the background to these (pre)posters. But some folks (who were not in the know) had taken the predictions(!) rather seriously – needless to say, there have been a few children and even some adults, who have taken to these predictions, hook, line and sinker! After all it is we people who make the world! Aren’t we the microcosm of what exists at large??

Of course, sideways, we also learnt a few things about astronomy, relearned some specific constellations, what does ‘zodiac’ mean, history of our understanding of the same  & stereotypes and all that – and most of all, how easy it is to derive some respectable humour value from some popular misconceptions.

I seriously wonder, whether this would constitute an ‘occupation’ for our erdkinder within the strict Montessoriese underpinnings. Heh! Are thoroughbred Montessorians listening please?

Hmmm… A couple of children told me at the end of their rather successful exercise that, they may not want to do such things in future. I felt sad, terribly let down and all that; however, I pressed on and asked them why. They said, they didn’t realize that this is how these starry predictions are made and now they were feeling rather angry with me that I had taken out the sense of wonder away from them, at least with respect to this shade of shady astrology.

I agree, Yes, mea cupa. I have sinned. But gladly so. The children agree, of course! (that I have sinned)

And, I have plans to teach them Scheme (a delightful dialect of LISP) with which, eventually they can program a computer to get such outputs. Then, they will see how easy it is to write (or program to write) like (my pet peeve) Enid Blyton – or for that matter, our own Indian version of popular trash author such as Grand Madame Arundhati Roy (my pet nemesis). And, um, I still can’t recover from the fact that Ms Roy got a ‘man booker’ prize for her work! Sheesh!

‘education’ – big picture vs details

…Or, a bird’s eye view VS earthworm’s view, if you will.

(this post is part of the infamous ‘education’ series at this blogsite). In this instalment, I am dealing only with the philosophies and theories on ‘education’ – and not about the details of ‘delivery’ of ‘education’ – I suppose I would deal with the latter, a bit later…

In my earlier avatars I have been part of the surreal corporate world, and I have met with quite a few folks there, who proudly uttered pearls of wisdom such as, they are the “big picture people, ya know” – accompanied by a swagger and those irritating & condescending ‘air quotation’ marks made with their index fingers. Invariably, they were bosses and/or pretenders. They never interested me. I never respected them. It is their loss, ahem! I continue to meet such vainglorious people off and on (yes, it takes one to know one). I tell myself that we do require diversity, don’t we? Honestly, we require diversity in every field – some species die, some survive, some mutate, some become mutant monsters, some are well meaning, some are not, some are positive actions, some are mere reactions… In any case, any kind of diversity results in that, much-required colourfulness, in an otherwise staid world. Like in the corporate world, how I would have loved to have something else instead of the drab grey, dull coloured shirts and trousers and drabber black suits and cleanshaven faces and powerpoint slidesets…

My opinion is that, it is fairly easy for any person to be a big picture person. Of course it is important to know the overall context in which things have to be placed, interpreted and acted upon. But, having this ‘ability’ alone would be as hollow as that of hippo’s yawn, if that ‘ability’  is not at all accompanied by the perseverance that would make the details happen, or the demonstrated ability to make things happen – the earthworm’s detailed way, the toiler’s and doer’s path.

But, for some reason, the self-styled pureplay ‘big picture’ people think that they are doing some significant value addition at the highest level and that, implementing even their own picture is a menial job meant for the masses, which does not merit their attention. So they treat all the folks who have to be implementers with scorn, and strut about with a halo around their hollowheads. Without any demonstrable and workable ‘big ideas,’ they drift rather eloquently from some darn idea to another damn idea. Frankly, the world works in spite of them.

Incidentally, in the computer software industry, I have met with many such ‘Heads of Business Units,’  ‘Practice Heads,’ ‘senior architects,’ & the self-styled and self-absorbed  ‘hackers’ most of whom are utterly useless ‘big picture’ people, with no demonstrated ability or inclination to look at the guts of the program / code, which a menial programmer would crank out; these ‘big picture’ folks cannot at all be bothered with tiny details – nor are they capable of singling-out trends from a given morass of data. All these ‘big picture people’ would have in the IT context, at any given moment are, empty phrases like ‘design patterns,’ ‘frameworks,’ ‘value proposition,’ ‘toplines,’ and ‘bottomlines,’ ‘process orientation,’ ad nauseam.

Well. On the contrary, I have NEVER so far met a person, even ONCE, who said, “I am a ‘details’ person, ya know?” – I wonder why.

I think, the ‘details folks’ are the actual doers. The world works because of them. They don’t have time for the ‘quotation marks in the air’ nonsense. They also are aware of the big picture, contextual interpretations and all that, but are actually busy doing a honest day’s work, and are really earning their wages…

When applied to the infamous field of ‘education,’ of course, there are so many big-picture people that strut around, mouthing various philosophies and approaches. But with many such second-hand & retail philosophers and learning merchandisers, strangely, there are no details at all. If at all they are there, they are mighty esoteric and are happily lost in some mumbo-jumbo with no relevance or applicability.

It so happened that, a few weeks back, a friend (I don’t have many of them, I wonder why!) and I were discussing one such ‘big picture’ framework for education that is being pushed, rather vigorously, by a group of folks who ought to know better, considering their 100+ years of combined background in ‘education,’ and otherwise reasonable & mighty achievements; please note that the good intentions of this group of folks are not at all in doubt. But, a detailed and workable implementation framework (that addresses the child’s developmental needs appropriately) is the ONLY one that can deliver the goods, which in my friend’s opinion, was sadly lacking in this group’s framework; they asked for a feedback and a feedback was actually given – folks who have known me (or my friend), know that if someone asks for a review or feedback, they really would get it – that would have our frank assessment and our own current take on the situation with its (and our) limitations and everything else. However, the feedback from my friend was met with unnecessary defensiveness and stonewalling on part of the group!

Hmm, merely well-meaning people with no stomach for folding back the relevant feedback, are actually a problem, I realize in retrospect. They cannot be bothered with details at all! Further, I think, when one asks for a feedback, he/she only wants to listen to positive things (they want to merely feel good), and if by chance an inadequacy or two are pointed out, then it is taken as a personal affront by them. Such are the ways of our elite, sheesh!

Philosophies and approaches are, per se fine. But, there are many questions, that lurk within the labyrinthine corridors of the otherwise empty, high-level placeholders such as ‘cognitive needs,’ ‘meticulous scaffolding,’ ‘spiritual needs,’ ‘compassionate education,’ ‘awareness,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘mindfulness’ etc etc…

Instead, let us consider these questions, for a starter… (a sample listing)

  • What do we want to do with our lives?
  • What do we do with the children?
  • Why should we do, what we plan to do with the children?
  • How do we help them learn? How do we help them become self-directed?
  • How do we help them to listen?
  • How do we inculcate in them, the basic norms of behavior?
  • How do we know if we are not helping a given child?
  • How do we follow the ‘inscrutable exhortations of their souls?’ (thanks: Bill Watterson)
  • How do we inculcate in them, a spirit of robust work-ethic instead of systematically creating inveterate system-beaters out of them?
  • Do the questions that trouble an average and half-baked adult (um, such as yours truly) – the BIG questions of life – such as peace, happiness, why me, materialism, spirituality, ethics etc etc – trouble the children at all?
  • Shouldn’t we be allowing them to live fully and respectfully, instead of forcing them into random monikers that we want to slot ourselves in?
  • Are we going to turn our perception of our insecurities & inadequacies – in to some random lesson plans for the children?
  • Where are the centred and rock-solid adults who would be with the children?
  • Where are the folks who know the theories as well as practicalities of this beast called  ‘education’ ?
  • How are we going to find these responsible and committed adults? Can we attract them by our sheer brilliance? Our commitment? Our passion? Shared vision??
  • Are we centred in the first place?
  • What are the pedagogical approaches? Does the child need them? Or the approaches that you want to adopt for children / school, are the ones you want?
  • What are the opportunity costs of pursuing a particular pedagogical approach?
  • Where are the pedagogic materials? For a starter, where are the normalized & graded flowcharts of presentations/lessons that flow with the curiosity of the children?
  • How will the learning possibilities be captured and acted upon?
  • What are the possibilities for the adults to grow up & learn, alongside?
  • Where is the environment that would bring out the best in children?
  • Where is the approach towards addressing various developmental stages of children?
  • Are there any broad (and detailed) approaches that we are aware of, approve of and are good at using?
  • Why would we need to reinvent the wheel – if we are reinventing them, that is.
  • Have we learned from our past errors or judgment and are embarking on some implementable vision or are we merely trying to prove a point?
  • In this age of complete outsourcing of education to everything else, by many parents – how do we deal with them – the parents and their hapless children?
  • What kind of responsibility can a given school assume in this context of ‘outsourcing,’ with respect to children?
  • How does one identify the parents that are likely to be helpful?

Questions, questions. But, all are about details, more details, and layered details – nothing else… And, this part listing is not merely applicable to only the philosophy of Montessori.

And, I am not even talking about operations and allied details, with nothing but ONLY hygiene factors associated with them!

I think a huge and workable set of details and working hard, real hard with the jigsawn fractals to realize the big picture, over a period of many years, consistently taking in feedback, changing the implemented details accordingly, tweaking our own mindsets, is the only way our ‘big picture people’ could be redeemed. (but, coming to think of it, is this worth the trouble?)

The God is in the details. Yes.

On the contrary, I would say that, schools are actually not necessary. You only need centred, open adults (with splendid work ethics and integrity) for the children, period. I have seen cases of absolutely self-directed children who are incredibly flowering, phenomenally branching out in all kinds of directions and planesonly because of the centredness of parents. These parents are very details oriented people, who also have the larger perspective (‘big picture’) in their view all the time. Sadly, there are not many such good folks. Hence the need for good schools, I suppose.

You may ask, how the heck do I know? How can I randomly pontificate? I am a big picture man, ya know? That’s how! heh!

I can even demonstrate how to do the ‘quotation marks in the air’ with my crooked fingers, with a swagger, with pursed lips and my neck drawn downwards – of course, for a price! If you are lucky, I may even say, without rolling up my eyeballs “education is an important component of life; it is an aid to life” – but I know in my heart that education is life.

A nice story (reproduced from my good ol’ scribbled notes is here)

What else is there?

Joko-sensei, a teacher at the Zen Centre of San Diego, recalls that, one morning she was working, putting the finishing touches on the remodeled kitchen at the Los Angeles Centre, when the teacher, Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi-roshi walked in to see how things were going.

“Everything’s going fine,” Joko said. “There are only a few details to finish up.”

At this, the roshi scratched his head. “Only a few details?” he asked, looking puzzled. “But details are all there are.”

**END**
Next installments will be about “Materialism vs Spirituality (hic) in educational contexts,” “Development stages of children and the business of education” etc etc… Stay tuned, or runaway fast…

You have been warned. 🙂

visit: kodaikanal (diary entry #1)

So, the whole of upper elementary, erdkinder and seniors of lower elementary – along with a few adults from nammashaale, did Kodaikanal. By and large it was an eventful, satisfying, interesting and therefore an endlessly tiring 4nights+4daze trip. In fact, I took two full days to recover from the fatigue. But most of the children seem to have recovered completely, in less than half-a-day after getting back! Surprise, surprise!

I am rather proud of the fact that we did NOT do the obligatory tickmark- touristy visits to the Dolphin’s nose, Pillar rocks, Suicide point(lessness), Coakers walk, Bear shola falls, Kurinji andavar temple, Bryant Park, etc etc – not to mention the horrendous places where random Hindi / Tamil / Telegu / Kannada / Malayalam stupidities masquerading as films were shot – primarily involving couples running around trees and swarms of jerks making lewd movements in the name of dancing, wearing ghastly costumes…

Nor did we do the sad (and tired) horse riding, eating in random ‘specialty’ hotels serving SouthIndian, Chettinad, Andhra, NorthIndian, Chinese, Tandoori items – all specializations (!) at the same time. What a relief!!

And, our children did NOT miss any of the above!

I am again, rather proud that we did the following: (our children loved them!)

  • A visit to a 100% organic (um, not merely organic, but Bio Dynamic – I have a lot of complaints about these blanket/inane terms like ‘organic’ and ‘green’ – but then, it is another story) coffee plantation (and processing plant) that won many an international award for incredible quality in the past. (sad that I have been off that elixir of life, Coffee – for a while now)
  • A couple of treks thru the shola forests and other natural vegetation on the hills – with a great sighting of a herd of robust bisons, with a cute calf to boot. (I suppose we must have trekked around 11 KMs in toto, in the undulating hills)
  • A fantastic visit to the Kodaikanal Solar Obsevatory.
  • A visit to a very nice Bakery (operating on an unbelievably humane scale, the basic ingredient of this ‘Daily Bread’ being NOT wheat, but bottomless love, really)
  • Hands on pottery for our children at a very earthly pottery studio
  • Nice cooking and eating at a friend’s place located on an impossibly beautiful mountainside, well away from the touristy kodaikanal town.

For want of time and prior planning, we could not visit the Zen Bodhi Zendo (of Arul Maria Arockiasamy aka AMA Samy) and Ichor Estate (of David Hogg). Next time, next time…

Every night post dinner, we had a grand bonfire at the guest house where we stayed rather happily – and had some inspired and impromptu theatrical performances and acrobatics by the school children. We also went for a row boating on the final day (I must admit that I was rather reluctant to do this, because I think it was/is a pointless thing, but the children demanded and loved it, so…).

On the final day, the children also did quite a bit of shopping – of no, not those ‘memorablia’ or the ‘souvenir’ types, but some real good handmade stuff, functional items, dark chocolates etc.

The Cheese available from Aavin at Kodaikanal is the best one that can be, fresh, fluffy, aromatic etc etc – and no wonder, a cheese hoarding person (from nammashaale) bought the entire stock from the Kodai outlet. Unbelievable! But I am not going to divulge the name of this deliciously despicable hoarder, because I was given for free, a splendid half-a-kilo of this hoard, in return for the services of keeping my mouth shut. I have been bribed, in other words. Sorry.

It was indeed a memorable trip – and the detailed reports on various interesting things will take sometime for me to post. But I would be remiss, if I didn’t acknowledge the great help from the following lovely people.

  • Prasanna & Meenakshi of that splendid ‘Daily Bread’ or ‘Pastry Shop’ – serving the best (and healthy) baked items possible. Also their vision of ‘sustainability in practice’ and ‘all pervasive spirituality of attending to minute details’ have to be experienced to be believed!
  • Vinod Hegde of Nandanvan Estate, whose passion for Coffee, Herbs and preserving mother nature – that has to be seen to be believed!
  • Veerabadhran – our trek guide, whose relentless wars against the environment-degraders and poachers and love for all things sustainable, that need to be documented…
  • Selvendran, Hariharan and Sundar raman – all fine and learned astrophysicists, who are passionate about their subject – and are willing to share their love of solar physics…
  • Dayalan and Uma Krishnan of the Sri Vignesh Guesthouse where we stayed, eating the great, tasty and simple food prepared by Dayalan
  • Our dear pal Amaresh Deshpande – who actually made the whole visit happen, with his relentless meticulousness, attention to fractal details, boundless energy and enthusiasm… (but for Amaresh’s help and guidance, we would not have met the above beautiful people, thanks chum)

In fact, one common thread that is running through all the above folks is the set of  great qualities: endless love, attention to details, unbelievable professionalism, walking their talk, and integrity. And, I am not even talking about their hospitality & courtesy…

It is/was such a pleasure to deal with these incredible folks! Thanks a tonne, all of you!

More later…
(as and when I get hold of some photos / links, I would post them, if I feel upto it, that is!)

four interesting (to me at least!) links

** Theatre doyen Ebrahim Alkazi’s (one of the finest of them) fantastic freewheeling interview.

“When I wanted to study the Mahabharata, my tutor said it’s obscene. I said I wanted to study the entire epic”

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/271252/

I love mahabharata and Alkazi’s contributions. I think, all of us even remotely interested in theatre should read this article.

** It gives me an immense pleasure (of the perverse kind, obviously) to read that the once petty, thieving, dastardly & rapacious “East India Company” is now owned by an Indian – one Sanjiv Mehta.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/business/East-India-Company-now-has-an-Indi an-owner/Article1-508853.aspx

What an inexplicable feeling of redemption, that dangerously borders on jingoism! (not) My personal interest in this takeover would be the possible ‘free’ availability of records of transactions and archived documents of EIC.

But, we would need another Dharampalji to get the proper context and interpretation out of the mass of documents. RIP, dear Dharampal. I miss your scalpel and lucidity of thoughts.

** A voice for the sparrow –  “March 20 is World House Sparrow Day. The species is fast disappearing, but thanks to the efforts of environmentalist Mohammed Dilawar there is hope for the inconspicuous bird. Excerpts from an interview ”

http://www.hindu.com/mag/2010/03/14/stories/2010031450210500.htm

May the tribe of Mohammed Dilawars increase!

** This is a school initiative, in the ‘educationally’ vibrant smouldering cauldron that Bangalore is, by my acquaintances – Jayashree and Reshma.

“creative – a holistic learning centre for children, families & teachers”

http://thecreativeschool.org/

As (once my hero) Mao Tse-Tung said: “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend…” A very nice and apt quote, the only thing is that the venerated Chairman said it for others to follow.

Good luck to ‘Creative’ and may it grow – in scope and impact.

** END **

visit: yakshagana performance

Thanks to a timely tip-off by an alert parent – Sriman Muniraju (a Math lover-Professor of Bishop Cotton college, mind you, it is not your any other ordinary Rook Silk college! sorry), most of the school, excepting the primary environment (work will set them free!)  trotted off to a yakshanagana prasanga at Ravindra KalaKshetra.

Though we could stay for barely 2 hours at the venue, it was wonderful.  Apparently, Akhila Bharath Yakshagana Sahithya Sammelana Samithi has organized this event along with Kannada Samskritha Kala Prathisthana for the year 2010.

We could see a little bit of an engaging story telling and dancing from certain parts of Ramayana – the group from Jamakhandi which did this was amazing – wonderful costumes, incredibly high pitched faultless vocals, excellent ‘chendai’ drumming, dialogue delivery,  impromptu teasing, good nritta and nrithya, what else!

We have made a mental note to the effect that, next year, we would plan to stay for a whole day at the event.

Incidentally, I came to know that Surpanaka (sister of Ravana) is actually working for a Bank – on a dayjob! In the nighttime I suppose (s)he goes out terrorizing the populace… Lovely. Heh!

Also, the even organizers are so passionate about the yakshagana that they even offer to train ‘for free’  the school children in this splendid performing art (and literature and theatre and music – all in one bundled form)! I think we should wrest the initiative and grab the opportunity.

Two things:

1. For some reason, only children that were there, were from nammashaale – and the crowd was also very sparse. Is it because the event was conducted in sweltering heat? Or that yakshagana does not have any support base apart from those probably in coastal karnataka? Troubling questions indeed, regarding a very fine and enetertaining performing art… The pesssimist in me thinks that, if it were some goddam starlet or an aamir khan or ghaarib khan (the pun of it kills me!) that were to grace the function, my fellow bangaloreans and I would have stampeded into the kshetra.

2. I am glad, really really happy to note that the organizers of the meet could get sponsorship from Vijaya Bank. The latter’s banner was prominently displayed, and oh I was so happy. Kudos to the discerning folks at this Bank. May they contiune to sponsor such sensible events and also increase their toplines and bottomlines. They deserve to be congratulated because, unlike the many multinotionals and crapporate entities, who would only sponsor silly and stupid activities at many of the so called  college festivals /days – these banker guys have good judgement.

Hope. We live on it. May the good work of these yakshagana associations continue.